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9.1 Introduction

Increasing awareness of environmental issues has focused the attention of

scientists and engineers on the problem of predicting the flow and dispersion
of contaminants in the water systems.
Reliable information on the water flow etc can be obtained from appropriate
mathematical models.
The first step in such modelling activities concerns the simulation of the flow
itself. Flow simulations usually form the basis of the investigations to be
carried out.
Delft3d is the integrated flow and the transport modelling system of deltares
for the aquatic environment.
Delft3d-flow is the flow module of the delft3d that provides the hydrodynamic
basis for other modules.
Two different vertical grid systems: -model and Z-model

9.2 General background

9.2.1 Range of applications of Delft3D-flow

The hydrodynamic module Delft3D-Flow simulates twodimensional (2DH, depth-averaged) or three-dimensional (3D)
unsteady flow and transport phenomena resulting from tidal
and/or meteorological forcing, including the effect of density
differences due to a non-uniform temperature and salinity
distribution (density-driven flow).
The flow model can be used to predict the flow in shallow water.
It aims to model flow phenomena of which the horizontal length
and time scales are significantly larger than the vertical scales.
If the fluid is vertically homogeneous, a depth-averaged
approach is appropriate- two-dimensional mode, one
dimensional layer, examples are tidal waves, storm surges,
tsunamis, harbor oscillations(seiches) and transport of
pollutants in vertically well-mixed flow regimes.
Three-dimensional modelling is of particular interest in transport
problems where the horizontal flow field shows significant
variation generated by wind forcing, bed stress, Coriolis force,
bed topography or density differences- in the vertical direction

9.2.2 Physical processes

DELFT3D-Flow solves the unsteady shallow water equations in

2D or 3D.

The system of equations consists of the horizontal equations of

motion, the continuity equation and the transport equations for
conservative constituents.
The equations are formulated in orthogonal curvilinear
coordinates or in spherical coordinates on the globe.
Delft3d-flow models with rectangular grid (Cartesian frame of
reference) considered as a simplified form of curvilinear grid.
In curvilinear coordinates, the free surface level and bathymetry
are related to a flat horizontal plane of reference, whereas in
spherical coordinated the reference plane follows the Earths
The flow is forced by tide at the open boundaries, wind stress at
the free surface, pressure gradients due to free surface
gradients (barotropic) or density gradients (baroclinic). Source
and sink terms are included in the equations in the equations to
model the discharge and withdrawal of water.
Delft3d-flow take into account the ff:

9.2.3 Assumptions underlying delft3d-flow (p179)

In Delft3D-Flow (2D/3D) non-linear water equations ( derived from the
three dimensional Navier-stokes equations for incompressible free surface
flow) are solved.


depth is much smaller than the horizontal length scale ( small

aspect ratio), then shallow water assumption (vertical
momentum equation is reduced to hydrostatic pressure relation)
is valid. Thus, vertical accelerations ( < gravitational equation)
are not taken into account => if not valid, apply Non-hydrostatic
pressure model in Z-model.
The effect of variable density is only taken into account in the
pressure term (Bousinesq approximation)
In coordinate system, the immediate effect of buoyancy in the
vertical flow is not considered.